Stun Guns – A Quick Online Guide To Buying a Stun Gun or Stun Baton

Written by Administrator. Posted in Product FAQs

Lets face it, the tougher times get, the more dangerous they become.  If you aren’t comfortable carrying a gun, but still want the peace of mind that comes from personal empowerment, a stun gun may be your best choice.  But how do you choose from all the stun guns available?  How do you know if its the correct size, model, etc for you?

Below we will walk you through each step in choosing the best stun gun for you and your personal situation.

Step 1 – Are Stun Guns Legal In Your Area?

The First thing you want to do is make sure that Stun Guns are legal in your area (A more detailed explanation can be found at this link: Stun Gun Laws.

Familiarize you self with the stun gun laws below



CONNECTICUT (Legal with Restrictions )
ILLINOIS (Restricted, Must have valid FOID card)
HAWAII (Illegal)
MICHIGAN (Illegal CCW Required)
WISCONSIN (Legal with restriction. Must have a CCW Permit)

CHICAGO, IL (Illegal)
DENSION / CRAWFORD COUNTY, IA (*According to Sheriff Tom Hogan*)


Step 2 – Choosing the Stun Gun Type:

How and where do you plan to carry the stun gun?

This is an important question to ask yourself, as it will help determine the best type of stun gun to fill your needs. If you are doing security rounds around a building or neighborhood you may want to carry a stun baton on your belt. If you want the feeling of some added protection when you are wandering through a darkened area, you may want to choose a stun gun that also functions as a flashlight.

Do you feel comfortable with it enough to use it when you need to?

This question is paramount. No matter what type of self defense product you choose, you must feel comfortable enough to use it during a crisis situation. This may mean training with it at home and may mean starting off small, and then working your way up to larger models.

Stun Gun Types

Standard Stun Guns

Standard Multi Function Stun Gun

Standard style stun guns are very effective and often use technology powered from a 9 volt battery. Often these can be some of the most powerful stun guns on the market. They are usually designed to fit a mans hand and be carried in a standard belt loop holster. They have a type of “Old School” look to them which lets your assailants know that these stun guns will get the job done.

  • Standard Stun Gun Benefits and Drawbacks
  • Designed to fit a man’s hand.
  • Holsters are often viewed in society as a male accessory.

Mini Stun Guns

Streetwise Blackout 5 Million Mini Stun Gun

Mini Stun Guns will often use CR2 camera style batteries to produce their take-down current, making them just as strong in take-down power, but much easier wield. The smaller size of mini stun guns makes them a lot less cumbersome when attached to a belt and much easier to conceal if the need arises.
Because their smaller size doesn’t sacrifice any power, women often prefer some of the mini style stun guns available, which is why you will often find them available in both black and pink colors.

Mini Stun Gun Benefits and Drawbacks

  • Just as powerful as standard stun guns
  • Easier to conceal or carry inside purse, on belt, etc.
  • Great for men and women. Small enough to fit women’s hands.

Cell Phone Stun Guns

Pretender black cell phone stun gun

Cell phone stun guns and other covert disguised self defense products empower you with more than just instant stopping power, they also equip you with the advantage of a surprise attack.

A standard stun gun on your belt says to people “I am armed and prepared to defend myself if you attack” This is a great deterrent, but it also lets the attacker know what you are going to do, giving them a chance to try and disarm you in a surprise attack of their own.

 A Cell Phone stun gun allows you to walk around with the self defense weapon in your hand without arousing suspicion. Should someone become aggressive with you, they wont even have a chance to develop an action plan of disarming you and your surprise attack advantage will leave them on the ground while you get help.

Cell Phone Stun Gun Benefits / Drawbacks

  • Preferred by professionals and students.
  • Lets you carry it in hand without arousing suspicion
  • Empowers you with the advantage of a surprise attack
  • Does not work as well as a visual deterrent (However, cell phone stun guns still have some deterrent effects due to the increased confidence you send out while you are carrying one)


Stun Batons

Stun Master Stun Baton

Bigger and harder to conceal, stun batons are used by security guards, bouncers, as well as dog walkers, senior citizens, and anyone else who wants the added security of fending off an attacker from a distance. Stun flashlights also fall under the stun baton category, although a lot of standard and mini stun guns do have flashlight capabilities.

Just the sight and sound is often enough to send someone running for the hills. Not just for security crowd control, a crackling stun baton in full operation is a great deterrent for Dogs and other animals as well due to both the visual display of lighting between the prongs and the high pitched sound it makes to their ears.

Stun Batons often also have built in safety features that prevent it from being grabbed. These include a disable pin that prevents the baton from being used against you if you let go of it, and stun strips on the side of the baton that will stun anyone who grabs it.

Stun Baton Benefits and Drawbacks

  • Very intimidating and acts as a powerful deterrent
  • Will often scare of vicious dogs with just its sight and sound
  • Bigger and harder to conceal


Step 3: What voltage of stun gun should you choose.

Voltage is a measure of the force behind the current or in a sense how fast the current travels, not how powerful the current is. This means that higher voltages require less time to exhaust the muscles of an attacker. Current refers to the number of electrons flowing though the perpetrators muscles and thus an increase in current could eventually cause harm to an attacker. The difference between stun gun voltages is essentially how long you need to hold the stun gun on an attacker. Stun guns are effective because they force a low electric current through the resistance of the assailants body. (*see more on How Stun Guns Work)

Because voltage claims can be pretty much anything a manufacturer wants them to be, some U.S manufacturers have decided to remove the word “Voltage” entirely from their product line and instead say things like “This 5,000,000 model compares in power to other 5,000,000 models we tested”

There was a time when voltage ratings meant something, but once things went beyond the 900,000 volts, it was pretty much agreed by engineers that these claims were becoming more unsubstantiated.
When choosing a stun gun, you are better off choosing a manufacturer that offers a lifetime warranty and has been in business for 10 or 20 years.

Two examples of high quality U.S. Stun gun manufacturers are Streetwise Security Products (Cutting Edge Products) and Stun Master (Safety Technology). Both have lifetime warranties and the amperage in their stun guns to take down even the largest of assailants.

Stun Gun Voltage Points to Remember

  • The high the voltage, the less time you need to hold it on an attacker
  • The higher the amperage, the more powerful the punch of the stun gun
  • A “non voltage” rating can be a good sign of a reputable manufacturer.


Step 4 What Are the Different Stun Gun Features?

Stun Guns now come with a profusion of different features to choose from. Depending on your comfort level and intended application, you may wish to familiarize yourself with some of the more common features found in modern stun guns.

Stun Gun Disable pin. The disable pin prevents the attacker from taking the stun gun from you and using it against you. A strap fits around your wrist so that if the stun gun is dropped or pulled from your hand it will cease to function. If for some reason this happens, you might want to have a pepper spray as back up. This works great for the cell phone stun gun models as you can carry them around in your hand

A Stun Gun Holster. A holster is something that should be considered, even for a mini stun gun. Easy access in most situations is critical. Carrying a stun gun on your belt also works as a visual deterrent to ward off would be attackers.

Rechargeable: Although slightly more expensive, you will save money in the long run if you use rechargeable versions. Some have a built in charging plug that lets you plug your stun gun directly into the wall.

Alarm: some stun guns come with a personal alarm to ward off attackers. This gives you another level of protection and can often make an attacker think twice.

Flashlight:  A flashlight is great for shining in the eyes of an attacker, giving you an advantage before deploying the stun gun to their body. It also has the added benefit to help you find your way when enshrouded by darkness.


Now that you are armed with the knowledge of the different features, styles, and benefits of stun guns, you can empower yourself with the best choice for your personal situation.

You can see our complete line of Stun Guns at All are from the highest quality and most trusted U.S manufacturers in the business. Every stun gun we carry is built to work and last, while every stun gun you buy online from us  carries with it a full lifetime warranty.

You have nothing to lose!  Head over to and buy a stun gun online through our secure encrypted checkout.


The Top 5 Reason to Get Live GPS Tracking to Grow Your Business

Written by Administrator. Posted in Product FAQs

Wonder Why Everyone Seems to Be Adding GPS Tracking to Their Business Model?

Are you looking for a smart way to optimize your deliveries and ensure that your customers are supremely satisfied? Have you ever thought of GPS tracking for your service delivery vehicles? If not, you should.

GPS technology is changing the way businesses are shipping and receiving their products all over the world. Fleet tracking is becoming more of a necessity than just a convenience and here are some of the reasons why:


Increased Productivity: Increase the productivity of your drivers. By continuously monitoring your fleet, everyone will be held to the same standards and in return, your employees will be more productive.

Lower Insurance: Many insurance companies will lower your insurance premiums if they know you are tracking your assets.

Theft Recovery: Means exactly how it sounds. If your vehicle is stolen or lost, you can use the Live GPS Tracker to find its exact location.


Tax Write Off: If you have employees that use their own vehicles for deliveries and services, they can keep track of the mileage and use it as a tax write-off at the end of the year!


Extend the life of your fleet: By keeping track of your mileage on each vehicle in your fleet, you can in turn, keep track of when the vehicle needs to be maintained. This allows you to extend the life of your fleet, thus saving you money in the long run.

If you’re serious about optimizing your sales, increasing employee productivity and providing top-notch customer service, what are you waiting for?

Monitor your Inventory: Live GPS Tracking lets you monitor your product as it travels around within its supply chain.  This allows you to notify your clients to any traffic jams, or other delays that may happen on the fly




Head Over to and Check Out Our Line of Live GPS Conduct

What is The Best Hidden Camera to Buy?

Written by Administrator. Posted in Product FAQs

Which is Better?  Wi-Fi Streaming Technology That’s  Viewable in Realtime, or Standalone Hidden Cameras That Record to an SD Card?

wifi vs dvr hidden camera comparison


Having been in the business of hidden surveillance for some time we have seen a huge rise in wi-fi devices using apps that allow users to stream the feed from their hidden cameras. At the same time there has been a decline in demand for the traditional stand-alone devices that record captured video to a memory card for later review. Wi-fi technology (sometimes, and not always correctly, referred to as the internet of things) certainly seems convenient and flashy but sometimes value is in the eye of the beholder. Do stand-alone DVRs still have a place in the market and in homes? Let’s talk about a few of the pros and cons of each while determining how to spend that hard earned money.

Our battery powered stand-alone hidden cameras and AC powered hidden DVRs have been used reliably for over a decade. Its set-up is relatively simple, a few clicks with the included remote sets time and date, motion activation preferences, recording time. Simply remove the memory card, pop it into your computer and review your captured video as easily as surfing social media. If we’re making comparisons this hidden camera DVR is the 1989 Chrysler LeBaron that your parents let you drive in high school. Sure it’s a bit stripped down but it won’t leave you stranded wondering what your teenagers are doing down in the basement. And speaking of teenagers in the basement, this DVR is no Snapchat nightmare waiting to happen…. a hidden camera that’s not connected to the internet is almost impossible to hack.

Now we all want to grow out of that ’89 LeBaron at some point. And the shiny new Acura bought with our first grown-up paycheck sure looks nice sitting in the driveway. But in time we’re bound to find out that all its bells and whistles mean there’s more to maintain. The same principles apply to wi-fi electronics. While we want all our wi-fi gadgets to work without fail, a hidden camera is not an iPhone. For the best user experience we have a couple of suggestions: First, determine if you need Peer to Peer (P2P) or Peer to Internet (P2I) connectivity. Our Zone Shield and Xtreme Life cameras can work with either. For a P2P connection the camera’s own wi-fi module generates a signal that you can stream on an app as long as you’re in range of the camera. It’s great for checking on nap time while trying to get that last little bit of yard work done.

For a P2I connection the camera connects through your router using your network SSID just like any home automation device. Our wi-fi hidden cameras do come with 720p resolution but that HD resolution also means they have a pretty hefty appetite for bandwidth when connected via P2I. Think about how many wi-fi devices are plugged in at your house…. tablets, phones, TV receivers? Our wifi module has a strong signal but it’s only as good as your router signal. For the best results we recommend setting the camera to VGA 640×480, the higher the definition the more bandwidth your camera will chew up.

Fortunately our Zone Shield and Xtreme Life families have both stand-alone DVRs and wi-fi connected hidden cameras available. Refer to the table below to determine if your hidden surveillance problems can be solved with the hidden camera equivalent of a spiffy Acura or a reliable Chrysler.


You can Buy all the latest hidden cameras online at

New Diversion Safes Available Now!

Written by Administrator. Posted in Product FAQs

Our diversion safes are popular, everyday products. The companies that manufacturer them are constantly updating their brands which is a great thing. I mean think about it, whose going to have a can of pasta sauce or can of coke from 2010 in their pantry? People want what can be found in stores “today”.

See our line of Diversion Safes Here

JIF Peanut Butter Diversion Safe


To see what’s on Sale Click Here:  This Week’s Sale

The New Smoke Detector Hidden Camera with Wifi Remote Smart Phone and Internet Viewing

Written by Administrator. Posted in Product FAQs

Zone Shield Wi-Fi cameras allow easy remote viewing anywhere on the free EZ-See app. Event notifications alert you when the hidden camera has noticed activity at your home or office. Connect multiple cameras and view live streaming video from all devices on your tablet, smart phone or PC.

The New Smoke Detector Hidden Camera with Wifi Remote Smart Phone and Internet Viewing Its motion activated sensor springs to life faster than any other covert system so there’s no chance of missing an intruder. Because you never know when someone in your home will harm your family or your property the SleuthGear Xtreme Life is the right product to have if you don’t know when you’ll need it.
Up to 30 days of operation in standby mode on a single battery charge. Because it can work without wires, it can be placed anywhere and the PIR (heat sensor) conserves energy so that there is little worry of battery failure.  Its Just Like our Xtremelife Version, but Better!


You can buy the new Smoke Detector Hidden Camera with Wifi Internet Viewing Here


The future of DIY surveillance is Wi-Fi enabled covert cameras

Written by Administrator. Posted in Product FAQs

instide wifi outdoor camera

The future of DIY surveillance is Wi-Fi enabled covert cameras

Over the past few years, several Wi-Fi enabled overt cameras have entered the market, making DIY home and business surveillance simple and offering greater flexibility over connected homes and businesses without having to enter into long-term contracts and subscription-based services. In fact, we launched our own Wi-Fi home monitoring system in mid-2015.

While these cameras are a cost-effective way to monitor what’s happening while you’re away – and can serve as a powerful deterrent for anyone thinking about doing harm to people or property – the mere nature of the cameras being unconcealed may not offer you a complete picture of what’s going on while you’re at work, on vacation, or even while sleeping with night-owl teenagers coming and going.

This is where our exclusive, American designed SleuthGear® brand of surveillance cameras comes in. We admit, it has taken us awhile to make our Zone Shield and Xtreme Life lines Wi-Fi enabled, and for good reason. We’ve worked hard to find the right technology to offer you the quality you’ve come to expect of the SleuthGear® brand. We weren’t going to settle for substandard technology and inconsistent performance. That’s why we are especially excited about these line extensions. Our Wi-Fi hidden cameras offer true live view, require no Ethernet plugs and can perform up to 200 feet line of sight (LOS) from the router.


You can buy a Wifi Hidden Camera with Remote Smart Phone and Internet Viewing at

Looking To Buy a Night Vision Surveillance Camera Hidden Inside a Smoke Detector?

Written by Administrator. Posted in Product FAQs


If you are Looking To Buy a Night Vision Surveillance Camera Hidden Inside a Smoke Detector.  Look no Further!


Xtreme Life® Wi-Fi Night Vision Smoke Detector (Bottom View) on ceiling


Its motion activated sensor springs to life faster than any other covert system so there’s no chance of missing an intruder. Because you never know when someone in your home will harm your family or your property the SleuthGear Xtreme Life is the right product to have if you don’t know when you’ll need it.

Up to 30 days of operation in standby mode on a single battery charge. Because it can work without wires, it can be placed anywhere and the PIR (heat sensor) conserves energy so that there is little worry of battery failure.


Xtreme Life® Wi-Fi Night Vision Smoke Detector (Bottom View) top view

Buy a Night Vision Surveillance Camera Hidden Inside a Smoke Detector and See What you have been missing!





KJB Security Products Blog XtremeLife Product Line

Recently we introduced the SleuthGear Xtreme Life Hidden Camera product line which feature all-in-one hidden camera systems that can last for an entire year on a single battery charge. The response has been very exciting.…

KJB Security Products Debuts New SleuthGear Hidden

Both feature PIR heat sensors long life batteries and invisible infrared sensors for reliable surveillance and recording in almost total darkness. Like Recluse Xtreme Life is part of KJB’s exclusively designed SleuthGear family.…

This cool KJB Security SC7000 XtremeLife Artificial Rock

The SC7000 offers the convenience of a battery-powered camera KJB C7000 without the typical short battery-life constraints The KJB C7000 new XtremeLife camera KJB C7000 features the longest-life battery on the market.…

Xtremelife Rock Spy Camera Good Luck Finding It

In fact it can standby for up to a year on a single charge or take videos continuously for up to 20 hours. xtremelife rock camera. To maintain its stealthiness manufacturer KJB Security didn’t even point out where the pinhole is.…


Safety With Stun Guns – What You Need to Know After You Buy A Stun Gun Online

Written by Administrator. Posted in Product FAQs, Security Tips

Not Sure which Stun Gun is Right for you?  See Our Online Buyer’s Guide Here: Stun Gun Buying Guide

photo of Multi Action Stungun SM-Multi

Stun guns are small electrical devices that provide personal protection for those who carry them. They are non-lethal under most circumstances and are often carried by both men and women who want an extra measure of protection when they are alone.

In areas where stun guns are legal, there are generally no licensing requirements and no courses are offered in stun gun safety. This makes it important for each stun gun owner to take the time to familiarize themselves with the way stun guns work and how they should handle their stun gun for the most effective personal protection.

The first thing to do when a stun gun is purchased is to look over the device itself to become familiar with the important components. The button that activates the electric current should be located as well as the two contact probes that dispense this current. The probes are what will be held against an attacker in order to deliver the shock to them. Knowing exactly where they are will prevent the stun gun owner from accidentally shocking themselves when using it or testing it. Be sure to stay away from the contact probes, never touching them in order to avoid an accident.

Once these key parts are identified, the owner should make sure that the battery has enough power. Testing the stun gun periodically by holding it in the air and pushing the button will let the owner know whether the battery is still good. Having a stun gun with a dead battery can be dangerous for those who count on their stun guns for protection.

If a situation arises that calls for the use of the stun gun against an assailant, the stun gun must be close at hand in order to grab it quickly and use it. Plan out a place to keep it for just this type of emergency. Keeping it in a pocket or held onto the wrist with a strap will keep it close by. In a real emergency, there will be no time to dig through a bag to find the stun gun and prevent someone from committing violence.

Before discharging the electric current, make sure that your fingers or any other part of your body are not in contact with the current probes. The object is to shock the other person to allow the stun gun holder to get away. If both parties are shocked, the stun gun user may not get away safely.

The assailant holding on to the stun gun owner does not mean that the current will pass through both parties. Only direct contact with the probes will cause a shock. If the stun gun owners can’t shock the assailant without shocking themselves, they should wait for an opportune moment to do so instead of risking a shock to themselves. Some owners have scared away attackers simply by holding their stun guns in the air and activating the current. This may work in a situation where the attacker can’t be reached with the stun gun.


Are you more of a pepper spray person?  If so, see our complete article on how to handle and use pepper spray properly against attackers.



Stun Guns in the News:


Portland police seek to replace Taser stun guns with newer

The bureau whose officers came under federal scrutiny in 2012 for a pattern of unwarranted use of stun guns has used a Taser model X26 since 2005 but the company discontinued making them at the end of last year.…


Slay Enemies with a Cell Phone Stun Gun and Tactical

This cell phone-looking stun gun delivers 1,000,000 volts of lightning protection at the push of a button. Includes safety button extra-bright LED flashlight and case with belt clip. Requires three CR2 batteries included.…


Zone Shield C5500 AC Adaptor HD DVR Hidden Camera Review

Written by Administrator. Posted in Product FAQs


“Among all of the hidden cameras I’ve reviewed, the Zone Shield AC Adaptor HD DVR is definitely one of my favorites.” – Tony Tran



As you can see from the Video above, the new Zone Shield C5500 has a great picture.  What you may not know is that other versions of this camera have sold for more than $200 more!

Recently, Honest Reviews featured this product and had a lot to say.  Here is a snippet of the review by Tony Tran:


Zone Shield AC Adaptor HD DVR Hidden Camera Review


  • Video Quality:  4.5 Stars

  • Features:           4 Stars

  • Design:               4.5 Stars

  • Ease of Use:      5 Stars

  • Average: 4.5 Star Rating

Reviewed By 


GOOD Easy to use hidden camera disguised as a power adapter, High Definition Camera and no batteries are needed.

BAD Can only be used where an power outlet is available.

SUMMARY Although the Zone Shield AC Adaptor HD DVR hidden camera doesn’t have a ton of features, it has everything you need when it comes to a simple hidden camera for the right price.

The Zone Shield AC Adaptor HD DVR is a hidden camera disguised as a normal power adapter. All you need to do is insert the SD card into the “AC Adaptor” and plug it into an outlet to get started. It’s nicely designed and works well. I’ve been playing around with this little device for a couple of days and I’m loving it a lot.


Buy Zone Shield AC Adaptor Hidden Camera DVR C550


Buy the Zone Shield C5500 AC Adaptor HD DVR Hidden Camera Here

See the full product review for the C5500 here

Do Stun Guns Stimulate the Heart?

Written by Administrator. Posted in Product FAQs

Picture of Multi Functioning Stun Gun

It seems like from time to time we read about Tasers causing heart failure in certain people. However, people often confuse tasers with stun guns and although there are plenty of studies regarding the use of tasers (which is a brand of EMD weapons), stun guns fit into a much broader category.  If you are looking for our free online stun gun buying guide click here.

So the question remains. Do Electro Shock Weapons Stimulate the Heart?

The ability of an electrical discharge to stimulate the heart depends on the duration of the pulse, the voltage and the current density that reaches the heart. Stun guns deliver very short electrical pulses with minimal amount of current at high voltages. We discuss external stimulation of the heart by high voltage discharges and review studies that have evaluated the potential of stun guns to stimulate cardiac muscle. Despite theoretical analyses and animal studies which suggest that stun guns cannot and do not affect the heart, 3 independent investigators have shown cardiac stimulation by stun guns. Additional research studies involving people are needed to resolve the conflicting theoretical and experimental findings and to aid in the design of stun guns that are unable to stimulate the heart.

Stun guns are used to physically incapacitate a person by discharging controlled electrical energy into the body, thereby preventing effective muscular activity. Although the intention is to provide a safe means of subduing an uncooperative person, some studies have suggested that stun guns can stimulate cardiac muscle in addition to skeletal muscle, thus potentially promoting lethal cardiac arrhythmias. In this article, we review the scientific data about the direct effects of stun gun discharges on the heart during shock delivery. We discuss these issues in terms of electro-stimulation and correlate them with theoretical and experimental data in the literature. We discuss the principles of cardiac stimulation from internal and external stimulation and examine the evidence for and against cardiac stimulation by stun gun discharges.


Stun gun discharges

An older method of stun guns application, called “drive-stun,” functioned like a cattle prod, which required direct contact between the electrodes of the source and the target. Stun guns are manufactured by different manufacturers (e.g., Aegis Industries, Stinger Systems, Taser International) and they operate under the general principle of high-voltage discharge with short pulse durations. However, their operation and shock characteristics vary by manufacturer. For example, a recent model (X26, TASER International) feature 2 barbs attached to long copper wires that are rapidly propelled by compressed nitrogen and adhere to the target’s skin or clothes. This stun gun generates an initial 3 microsecond electric pulse, which produces an electrical arc that creates a low-impedance pathway for electricity to reach the body with or without skin contact.1 The initial pulse is followed by longer pulses (100 microseconds) that deliver electrical energy to the target’s body, which stimulates his or her nerves and skeletal muscles and results in incapacitation. This pattern is repeated at a frequency of 19 pulses per second. Incapacitation lasts for the duration of the discharge, which is typically 5 seconds but can be 15 seconds or longer if pressure on the trigger is maintained. The TASER X26 battery has the capacity to deliver up to 195 discharges of 5 seconds each,1 which corresponds to a duration of over 15 minutes. Other devices that have been studied include the M26 (TASER International) and the MK63 Trident (Aegis Industries), which is a stun baton. Each of these devices uses high frequency electrical pulses to incapacitate the target.


Method of stunning

Stunning can be attributed to 1 of 2 methods, which depend on the mode of application. In the “drive stun” method, the overwhelming factor is the creation of pain and hence compliance. The second method, in which electrodes are fired toward the target as projectiles, neuromuscular stimulation occurs over a larger area. In addition to pain, the device incapacitates the target by stimulating his or her motor nerves and muscles as well as sensory neurons. The duration and frequency of the pulses have been optimized to incapacitate the target, and different devices have varying effects depending on the frequency of stimulation and the shape of the electrical pulse.


Electrical stimulation of the heart

Since the early 1900s, various equations have been proposed to describe the relation between the current and pulse duration required for electro-stimulation of the heart. These formulas showed an inverse relation between the duration and the current of the stimulating pulse, which means that if the pulse duration is short, a higher current is required for stimulation.4

For an electrical pulse to stimulate the heart, it must depolarize the cardiac membrane below a certain level and the induced depolarization must be propagated throughout the heart. The duration and strength of the pulse must be sufficient to allow cell membranes to react and reach an excitation threshold above which activation is triggered. This activation produces a wave front resulting in mechanical contraction of the heart muscle. Shorter pulse durations require larger amounts of current or charge to stimulate the heart. Thus, one must consider whether a stun gun discharge, which is external to the heart, can deliver enough current to stimulate the heart. Below we discuss the external stimulation of the heart under other known circumstances and relate it to a typical electrical pulse generated by a stun gun.


Effect of external electrical discharges on the heart

The ability of external electrical discharges to alter the internal electrical activity of the heart (e.g., to induce ventricular fibrillation) has long been recognized. Depending on the method of delivery and the amount, timing and location of the electrical discharge, an external discharge can produce a beat when one is absent, induce fatal cardiac arrhythmias or restore a normal heart beat to a heart in arrhythmia.6 The use of external electrical discharges to influence the heart has resulted in the development of external pacemakers (e.g., Zoll stimulator) and defibrillator devices to treat ventricular fibrillation. However, these discharges are delivered under controlled conditions at rates that are physiologic or that are delivered during the safe part of the cardiac cycle. High voltage discharges commonly occur in various forms, from electrostatic discharge (most common) to electrocution or lightning strike (least common). Internal cardiac defibrillators also use high voltage pulses for terminating ventricular fibrillation. The relative values for voltage, current and energy for some common sources of high-voltage shocks, along with the most common type of stun gun in use, are shown below.



Evidence that stun guns cannot stimulate the heart

Despite the fact that stun guns are widely used and that their practical safety is under scrutiny, the majority of these analyses are theoretical in nature. These theoretical analyses suggest that stun guns cannot deliver the amount of energy required to stimulate the heart or cause ventricular fibrillation. Most theoretical studies base their arguments on the following principles: only a small portion (4%–10%) of the current that reaches the chest will affect the heart and the time constant of the cardiac cell membrane is much longer than the pulse duration generated by stun guns. According to the law of electrostimulation and given the electrical characteristics of stun gun pulses and cardiac cells, cardiac electrostimulation should not occur during a stun gun shock. These analyses support the claim that electrical pulses generated by stun guns are designed to specifically target skeletal muscle, which has a much smaller time constant (i.e., refractoriness) compared with cardiac cells.

Experimental studies that support the claim that stun guns do not stimulate the heart base their arguments on conservative device settings and experimental designs that often do not reflect a clinically relevant or “worst case” scenario. The studies by Lakkireddy and colleagues and McDaniel and colleagues, both involving swine, used a modified stun gun for which the output power could be controlled, allowing the authors to specify a safety margin for the device and to demonstrate that it could not induce ventricular fibrillation. McDaniel and colleagues used arterial blood pressure tracing, which showed no perturbations during discharge from the stun gun simulator However, intracardiac electrograms from the study by Lakkireddy and colleagues showed that the pulses did influence heart rate during shock delivery if the barbs were located such that they formed a vector crossing the heart. In contrast, the MK63 stun baton in the “drive stun” mode applied to the anterior thigh16 or thorax of Yucatan miniature pigs did not induce acute arrhythmias. The authors of both studies attributed their findings of a lack of cardiac stimulation to possible differences in electrode spacing, proprietary waveform or power generated by the device.

Other studies have been performed using healthy volunteers (police officers). Each volunteer received a single 5 second stun gun pulse to his or her back. This does not reflect the common scenario, in which multiple, prolonged shocks are delivered with the possibility of the barbs landing near the thorax. These studies recorded electrocardiogram findings before and after, but not during, the stun gun discharge. This, however, does not rule out the possibility of disturbances in the rhythm during the discharge owing to the artifacts in recorded electrocardiograms during the discharge. These limitations prevented the researchers from observing transient changes in heart rhythm during discharges. The immediate recordings after the discharges18 showed shortening and lengthening of QT complexes without assigning any significance to these changes.

Stun gun discharges have been recorded in the field and there have been no claims of deaths medically attributed to these discharges. These recordings were made immediately after, but not during, the discharge. Although this does not affect the claim of no related deaths, these studies cannot verify whether the heart was stimulated during discharge. In cases of recorded deaths, the mode of death had never been established, though a state of “excited delirium” has been reported. However, excited delirium has not been listed as a cause of sudden cardiac death in the arrhythmia literature.

Evidence that stun guns can stimulate the heart

Deaths have occurred shortly after stun gun discharges. However, association alone does not prove causality. The possible mechanisms of short-term or immediate-term cardiac effects relate to the stimulation of the heart or induction of ventricular fibrillation. Stimulation of the heart is a separate issue compared with induction of arrhythmia, as stimulation may happen only during discharge and may not be evident even immediately following the discharge. In contrast, induction of arrhythmia may relate to stimulation of the heart because, depending on pre-existing defects (e.g., a previous heart attack, drug intoxication), each person’s heart may have a different susceptibility to life-threatening arrhythmia during stimulation. Podgorski and colleagues found that the direct application of an older version of a stun gun to a pig heart, which was exposed but covered by a towel, produced stimulation of the heart.

Because the theory of electrical stimulation suggests that stun gun discharges should not stimulate the heart, we tested the hypothesis using a closed-chest in vivo animal model. A unique feature of our study was that real stun guns were used and operated by qualified law enforcement personnel, which simulated real-world conditions. Two different models (TASER X26 and M26) that deliver different pulse waveforms were used on an anesthetized pig. Recording the electrical activity of the heart is challenging, because the acquisition system is usually completely saturated by the electromagnetic interference generated by the stun gun discharge. However, we found that the pig’s arterial blood pressure was occasionally abruptly lost during stimulation. To further verify that this blood pressure modulation was not a recording artifact, we opened the artery to air and found that the pumping of blood stopped during the discharge of the stun gun. This made us suspicious that either an arrhythmia was being induced or the heart was being stimulated so rapidly that it was not capable of producing pulsatile pressure. To test this, we shielded our mapping system and recorded the electrical activity during discharge.

We studied a total of 150 discharges in 6 pigs. Of these, 74 of these discharges resulted in stimulation of the myocardium, as documented electrical capture (a provoked response in the myocardium) (mean ventricular rate during stimulation and capture, 324 [standard error 66] beats/min) (Figure 1). Of the 94 discharges across the heart, 74 stimulated the myocardium. We took care to ensure that the gun barbs did not pierce deep into the tissue. We also placed the barbs such that they were oriented across the heart, simulating the worst case scenario of creating a current vector that directly passes through the heart. If these barbs were placed away from the chest and across the abdomen, none of the 56 discharges across the abdomen stimulated the heart (Figure 2), suggesting that the location of the barbs had a crucial influence on stimulating the heart. We also observed that the waveform (pulse shape) produced by the device affected stimulation, because when we used a different model of the stun gun (TASER M26), we observed a lower incidence of cardiac stimulation.


Figure 1:

Stun Gun Cardiac Stimulation

Cardiac stimulation and hypotension from a stun gun discharge. Note the corruption of the surface electrocardiographic leads in panel B and the electrical activity of the intracardiac electrograms. After stun gun discharge, a spontaneous and immediate return of regular sinus rhythm and blood pressure occurs (panel C). Panel D and E show magnified intracardiac electrograms of similar duration. It is evident in panel E that the rate is much faster and the rhythm is wider than in panel D. The morphology of the tachycardia in panel E is wider than the morphology in panel D. There is a constant stun gun stimulus artifact to electrogram duration as illustrated in panel E, with every fourth stun gun discharge resulting in stimulation of the heart. Note the loss of blood pressure during the stimulation and the recovery of blood pressure once the discharge is completed. Reproduced with permission from Elsevier (Nanthakumar et al24). Note: CS = coronary sinus, RV = right ventricular, BP = blood pressure.

Figure 2:

A typical episode of a stun gun shock across the abdomen (nonthoracic vector) that does not result in stimulation of the myocardium. The surface electrocardiogram lead 1, intracardiac electrograms from the coronary sinus, the right ventricle apex and blood pressure in the descending aorta are shown. Panel A illustrates the regular rhythm before the discharge, which is very similar to the rhythm and rate in panel C. The intracardiac electrograms, as illustrated in panels D and E, do not show any significant change in rate morphology and are not phase-locked (no temporal relation between stimuli and the electrogram) with the stun gun discharge. Note also the lack of perturbation of blood pressure during the discharge. Reproduced with permission from Elsevier (Nanthakumar et al24). Note: CS = coronary sinus, RV = right ventricular, BP = blood pressure.


In addition, we simulated an excited state infusing pigs with epinephrine, which renders the myocardium more excitable and prone to arrhythmias. Of 16 discharges, there were 13 episodes of myocardial stimulation, of which 1 induced ventricular fibrillation and 1 caused ventricular tachycardia. In contrast, another study, which simulated an excited stated by infusing cocaine into pigs, did not report induction of ventricular fibrillation during discharge. The main conclusions of this study was that stun gun use in the presence of cocaine does not increase the chance of arrhythmia. However, this study used a waveform simulator, not an actual stun gun, and although ventricular fibrillation was not induced, there was stimulation of the heart.

Three different studies involving pigs, 1 of which was performed by us, have shown that a stun gun discharge can stimulate the heart. In particular, 1 studyreported the deaths of 2 animals caused by ventricular fibrillation immediately after the stun gun discharge. This study also reported severe metabolic and respiratory acidosis caused by discharge. This suggests that sufficient current density was produced by the stun gun to stimulate the heart, which according to theory should not occur. A potential explanation of why, despite the theory, stimulation was observed is that there were metallic objects (e.g., catheter or pacemaker leads) inside the heart, which probably carried currents induced by the electromagnetic interference generated during the shock. One could argue that these currents could instead be the primary source of heart stimulation. Because capture could only be observed using intracardiac electrograms, this remains speculative. The fact that in our study we did not observe capture when the stun gun shocks were administered away from the chest suggests that the dart locations play a more important role in stimulation than the presence of metallic objects in the heart. In addition, in our study, we removed all electrical catheters from the heart and still observed the cessation of arterial pumping during discharge. We also confirmed that even without catheters in the heart, stun gun discharges on the chest can stimulate the heart and, at the least, can result in a loss of blood pressure during discharge.

Indeed, a human’s chest is different from that of a pig, and there may be differences in electrophysiology between human and pig hearts. One should be prudent in extrapolating data from animals to humans because of this fact. The corollary, though, is that most of the basic mechanistic concepts in cardiac fibrillation and defibrillation are derived from animal studies, not humans. In addition, the safety margins for energy of stun gun discharge established by manufacturers were derived from animal models.

Researchers from San Francisco recently published the case of a patient with a pacemaker who received a stun gun shock. They observed that discharges from the stun gun provoked a response in the myocardium (Figure 3). It is unknown if this would have occurred without the presence of pacemaker wires, although without these wires, verifying the presence of cardiac capture would not have been possible. In addition, John Webster’s research group reported in a conference abstract that stun gun discharges can stimulate the heart. Although published theoretical analyses about stun gun safety have scientific merit, we should be aware that theories are only as good as the assumptions and conditions defined based on available data or knowledge.

Magnified summed intracardiac electrograms from a patient’s internal pacemaker log during stun gun discharge. Cardiac capture is shown by the high-rate ventricular sensing (cycle length 203–289 milliseconds); the cyclic, low-frequency modulation of high-frequency noise (stun gun pulses) during ventricular sensing; a single, long ventricular interval (648 milliseconds) after the energy stops; and postdischarge resumption of atrial and ventricular sensing at a rate similar to predischarge cardiac rate. The high-frequency pulses (15 pps, 66 milliseconds) are labelled on the tracing. The intracardiac electrograms from the last sensed ventricular event during stun gun application are superimposed on each prior ventricular sensed event, showing that the disruption of the high-frequency stun gun signal is consistent with modulation of the signal by a repeating R wave with morphology different than the intrinsic R wave (right side of the image). Reproduced with permission from Blackwell


Explaining the discrepancies between theory and observation

Why have 3 independent groups of investigators reported in peer-reviewed journals that cardiac stimulation can occur when the theory says it cannot happen? Theoretical safety calculations may not hold true if the theory used to calculate the membrane time constant using external pacing parameters (i.e., with large pads that do not break the skin barrier, without rapid stimulation at high voltage) does not apply to stun gun stimulation across the chest wall. Although the membrane constant is usually considered an intrinsic property of cardiac muscle, various studies have measured time constants during human trans-chest pacing from 0.5 milliseconds to 1.1 milliseconds. However, another study with direct pacing on dog myocardium reported an average value of 2.4 milliseconds, suggesting that the time constant is actually a characteristic of not only the cell membrane but also the stimulator, and the size and the position of the electrode used. This suggests a large variability over the population; thus, an identical pulse with a specific duration and strength could have different stimulation effects on different people.

Over the last century, various studies have been performed on the strength–duration relation of electric impulses and their effect on cardiac stimulation. From some of these studies, it is evident that the assumptions made about membrane time constants and contact electrode sizes strongly influence the outcome. Typically, electrodes in contact within the myocardium may stimulate with 50 milliamperes when the current is injected over a period of 50 microseconds. However, shorter pulse durations would require a larger amount of current to stimulate the heart. There is a possibility of inducing a lethal cardiac arrhythmias when factors (e.g., strength, duration and frequency of the electric pulses; membrane time constant; contact impedance; and timing of electrical discharge) favour triggering the heart during a vulnerable period of the cardiac cycle.


Knowledge gaps

Although there have been deaths reported following stun gun discharges, this appears to be rare. In addition, some animal studies suggest that stun gun shocks may have cardiovascular effects. Whether the reported deaths were related to the external shocks is unknown. It is also unknown whether cardiac stimulation occurs only during discharge. The observational studies involving human volunteers thus far could be considered phase I studies because they relate mainly to tolerability and do not prove the safety of the devices. It is very important that tolerability should not be misconstrued as safety. The largest knowledge gap is the lack of appropriate studies involving humans to establish the safety margins for stun gun shock energies when the vector of discharge is across the heart.

The effects of potential modifying factors such as sex, body mass, cardiac and noncardiac diseases, alcohol, medications and psychotropic drugs also need to be evaluated. It is evident that psychotropic drugs such as cocaine heighten the sympathetic state in animal studies. The effect of these drugs and their influence on human autonomic physiology during stun gun discharges is an important aspect that needs urgent evaluation.



Despite many studies suggesting that stun guns do not affect the heart, the evidence and studies presented in this review suggest that, in some circumstances, stun guns may stimulate the heart while discharges are being applied. However, there is no conclusive evidence to show whether stun gun stimulation (under certain electrophysiological conditions) can result in cardiac arrhythmias late after stun gun discharge. In our view, it is inappropriate to conclude that stun gun discharges cannot lead to adverse cardiac consequences in all real world settings.

We believe that the findings that stun gun discharges are able, under specific circumstances, to stimulate the heart should be taken into account in future studies involving people. Whether stun guns can stimulate the heart can only be established if one can record electrical activity in the heart during a discharge, especially when the vector of discharge is directed across the heart. Additional research studies involving people will help to resolve the conflicting theoretical and experimental findings, and they could lead to the design of devices with electrical pulses that cannot stimulate the heart.




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